I have a certain way of talking when I am with my mom and dad, Then I have a certain way I talk to my friends. Its not really that I use slang its just that when I talk to my friends I have the lack of pronunciation.When I first came to SLA I didn’t know anyone of course. I never told anyone that I was from Roxborough because I had just met them and I didn’t want them to see me as a little rich kid, which I am not. Then at lunch I took the initiative to actually have conversations with people.
“What up guys”
“Did yous guys get a lot of homework?”
After I said that everyone looked at me with this puzzled look of laughter on their faces.I had no idea why they were looking at me like that. Did I say something dumb, was there something on face? Thats when someone finally said something to me.
“Katie are you from South Philly?”
“Haha no Why?”
“You said yous guys”
“Im from Roxborough”
After I told them that I was from Roxborough they looked even more surprised and full of more laughter. I was scared that since people laughed that meant that I had already been a stereotype to them, exactly what I thought would happen when being around new people and a new environment. I meant many people that day and became more aware of how I spoke and what I said. I had made it through the day with out someone making fun of me because of the way I spoke.
When I went in my house my mom was watching T.V. waiting for me. She wanted to know how my day went, I told her how the kids laughed at me after I said where I was from. Later that evening I was arguing with my sister.
“Yous guys do not respect my stuff”
After I just yelled that at her she gave me that same face full of laughter that the kids at school had given me. Thats when I got upset and wanted to know what was so funny.
“You said yous”
That is when I realized that the kids where not laughing at where I was from but how I said it.I have no clue where I got the word “yous” from, maybe a movie, or a song, or maybe I did pick it up from my friends in Roxborough, I did know that no one in my family used it. The word just developed into my vocabulary without me even noticing that I say it.
In the story “If Black English isn’t a language then tell me what is” by James Baldwin he talks about his language and how it reveals who he is. He said “... It reveals the private identity, and connects one with,or divorces one from, the larger public, or communal identity.” This quote represents that the way you speak makes you who you are and makes you stand out from the people around you.This quote is a great example of how saying “Yous” makes me who I am. By me saying a word that no one has ever heard used in a sentence, it makes me stand out between me and my friends.It doesn’t bother me that I am different, it allows people to see that I am my own person and that I do not follow in others foot steps, I have my own language.
My language gives me an identity. Even though it is one word that is in my language different than everyone else around me it still separates me from every one around me. Since people have brought this to my attention I have a habit of using it more often. I also pay more attention to the words others use. I have found myself correcting others words, knowing I use the word “you” incorrectly. Doing this it has come to my attention that I use my language as power, because I have my own language I like to try and make people be more creative with their language, so that they can have their own identity.
Like Glona Anzaldua said in the story “ How to tame a wild tongue” “ A language which they can connect their identity to, one capable of communicating the realities and values true to themselves.” The reason that I went so long with out realizing what I was saying, or that I had a certain language was because it connected to my identity. Me being who I am, I didn’t see any issues with my language because I made my language my own.Since I was comfortable with it, everyone around me was okay with it. They realized that,that is who I am. My language is who I am.